E-Divorce : The Wave of The Future? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/28/02 - Smith County

E-Divorce : The Wave of The Future?

Americans are using the Internet to find dates and even a potential mate...so it's only natural the net can also help you get a divorce.

A new website called www.completecase.com promises to do just that. Based in Seattle, the site promises that people seeking uncontested divorces can fill out divorce papers on-line. Some call the website a cheaper and easier means of ending marriage.

In Smith County last year, over 1200 divorce cases came through the district clerk's office. But now a new website, www.completecase.com, promises a simpler solution for divorcees.

First, you click on your state and answer questions that are pulled directly from your state's divorce documents. Couples are asked everything from how many children are involved to how many years you've been married.

Then when complete, for just $249 dollars your divorce is ready to be printed and filed with the court.

This simple, cheaper solution sounds good to East Texans who've weathered through the storms ofdivorce.  "I think one thing that really bothers people is the expense," said James Westberry who is remarried after divorcing ten years ago. "I mean it's very expensive to have lawyers and take all the time it takes to go through the proceedings."

 The expense wasn't quite what I was expecting," said Kim Blumm whose divorce five years ago was uncontested. "So to be able to go online and do it for that cheaply that would be a lot better."

 But family attorney Mary Strand says she's weary of the website, which premiered last week in Texas.

Strand says any unlicensed attorney who answers legal questions about divorce could be violating state laws.

"I also think it can be misleading to the public that might be using it," Strand said. "It makes it sound so easy, you just fill in a form and you can get divorced. But, if you have children or any property how you get divorced and what the final result is will effect you for years."

The website does say it's for uncontested divorces...ideally ones where no children are involved. And if a couple is also arguing over property, the site  recommends getting an attorney. So far, the state bar does not know of anyone in Texas who has used the site. Commonly when couples can't afford a divorce, one or both of the parties, will go to the library and do their own.

Attorney Mary Strand says East Texans can go to the County Law Library...and adds that Smith County judges and lawyers are good about making sure those needing advice get it.

 But if this new site does last, your marriage could be another exit on the information superhighway. 

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